Sunday, November 8, 2015

Review of "Surviving the Holidays Without a Child - a multimedia guide for those trying to conceive or adopt"

When we began our adoption journey in 2009, I discovered a amazing resource, the Creating a Family website:, that I still use two years after finalization of our son's adotion. This holiday season, they have created a survival guide for those who are among the childless, but are trying to create their family either through conception or adoption. Surviving the Holidays Without a Child - a multimedia guide for those trying to conceive or adopt addresses many aspects of how the annual holiday season adds stress to the stressful situations of infertility treatments and the adoption process. Input for survival strategies came from studies, experts, and people "in the trenches" - women and men struggling with infertility, going through treatments, and wading through the adoption process. Holiday stress is not limited to Thanksgiving and Christmas. When you want a child, but achieving that goal is elusive, Mother's Day, Halloween, and Easter can be stressful as they are child-centered holidays. Yes, Easter has become a child-centered holiday with cute outfits, photos with the Easter Bunny, and Easter egg hunts. The Survival Guide provides strategies for creating allies, dealing with emotions, limiting physical stress, and minimizing financial stress. 

Page 9 of the Guide is the section about Let Your Family Know. Even if you view your infertility as a very private subject to not be broadcasted, the Guide recommends telling select family members who can become your allies during family gatherings. These allies will know not to ask the dreaded question, "So, when are you having children?" They can also change the subject when the conversation becomes too child-centric or make sure you get to hold the newest baby in the family, if that is what you desire.

The Survival Guide is easy to use for any family gathering such as family reunions, not just the holidays, Each section has links to blogs, videos, audio files, factsheets, all resources from the Creating a Family website. I did find that clicking on the links did not open a new window, but took my currently open tab to that link. When I clicked the back button on my browser, I was taken back to the beginning of the Survival Guide. It is a easily loadable PDF so scrolling through the 27 pages was not too difficult to get back to where I left off reading. I recommend reading through the entire guide then browsing the links afterwards. The Guide and the links are a very handy tool during the adoption process or the infertility conception/treatment process. You might consider having family members read Surviving the Holidays Without a Child so they better understand why the holidays are difficult for you.

Creating a Family is the national adoption & infertility education organization. Their mission is to provide support and unbiased information before, during and after adoption or fertility treatment to help create strong families. Check out their Five Core Values that they use to guide every decision.   They are a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, and you can check out their financials and IRS Form 990 at GuideStar. Executive Director is Dawn Davenport, author of  The Complete Book of International Adoption (Random House) plus many articles about infertility and adoption. The survival guide was developed with the help of several sponsors: Children's Connection Inc.; Jennifer Fairfax of Family Formation Law Offices; Walling Berg & Debele, PA; Advance Fertility Center of Chicago; Bierly & Rabuck; New Beginnings International Children's and Family Services; and Beacon House Adoption Services, Inc.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much for your review! We thought that when viewed in the online viewing software (Issuu), the links would open in a new window. We'll check out why they didn't. Thanks agin.


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